New forum highlights College’s work to address global challenges

Hitesh Handa with studentsResearchers from the University of Georgia College of Engineering will discuss how they’re working to solve some of the world’s grand challenges during the Global Challenges Forum, a new seminar series beginning next month in Washington D.C.

“The Global Challenges Forum will allow our faculty to share insights into research that leads to healthier people, a more secure future, and stronger communities,” said Donald Leo, dean of the UGA College of Engineering.

Each presentation in the Global Challenges Forum will be held in UGA’s Delta Hall. The talks are free and open to the public.


Hitesh Handa, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, will serve as the leadoff speaker for the series on March 28. Handa’s research is focused on developing biocompatible coatings for medical devices to inhibit infection and thrombosis, two costly and potentially deadly side effects for patients.

The Global Challenges Forum will also feature presentations by Jason Locklin on June 26 and Jenna Jambeck on Sept. 12.

Locklin leads UGA’s New Materials Institute, an interdisciplinary team of researchers committed to developing materials and plastic replacements that completely break down and return to nature when discarded. A professor in the College of Engineering, Locklin holds a joint appointment in the department of chemistry in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Jambeck is one of the world’s leading experts on plastic waste and its impact on the world’s oceans. Jambeck, an associate professor, has led foundational research on sources of plastic waste and the role of waste management globally in solving the problem of plastic pollution. She was recently named a scientific co-lead for National Geographic’s “Source to Sea” Plastic Initiative.

“The Global Challenges Forum is an exciting opportunity to connect some of the groundbreaking work that’s happening in our laboratories to challenges that impact people and communities around the world,” said Leo.

By Mike Wooten

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